Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Latham & Watkins, Mannheimer Swartling, and Gowling WLG have joined the ranks of firms announcing they are shutting down their Russian offices.
"This is not a decision we have taken lightly," read a Freshfields press release, pointing to its 30-year presence in the market. "However, in light of the Russian government’s actions in Ukraine, and the clear stance we have taken on Russia-related work, we believe that this is the right course of action," the statement added while noting: "The safety and well-being of our colleagues in Russia has remained one of our key priorities as we respond to this unprecedented crisis, and that continues to be the case."
"The unfolding humanitarian crisis is devastating to watch and we stand with so many in the world in condemning the violence in Ukraine and the needless human suffering taking place," Latham Chair and Managing Partner Rich Trobman commented. "The firm will immediately begin an orderly transition, consistent with our ethical duties to our clients, to wind down operations in Moscow. During this process, our focus will be principally on the safety and well-being of our colleagues in Russia."
Swedish firm Mannheimer Swartling stated: "We at Mannheimer Swartling are horrified by the military aggression against Ukraine and the atrocities being committed against the Ukrainian people," adding that the firm "has suspended its operations in Russia with immediate effect" and that it is analyzing whether it "can leave the Russian market in an orderly manner and with due care to our Scandinavian clients and Russian colleagues," while noting that its former Moscow-based Swedish lawyers have been relocated.
Canadian firm Gowling's press release stated: "We are shocked and deeply concerned about the growing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. Gowling WLG stands united with the Ukrainian people," informing that the "departure will be orderly" as the firm seeks "to transition the business to our team in Moscow."